Is your garden in a shady location and are worried that most if not all your garden plants won’t thrive and flower? Well, you are not alone. Many gardens have shady areas, where sun-loving plants have it tough to survive, leave alone flowering. But the good news is, there are plenty of shade flowering plants and perennials that grow easily in shaded areas.
The most important thing is to understand the type of shade that you have and choose the right plant for your garden.
In this article, there are 17 shade flowering plants and perennials that are low maintenance and grow easily from which you can choose the one that matches your garden.
As you will see, the article touches on a wide variety of flowers and plants that grow in a shade that are also perennials.
These shade-tolerant flowering plants can be planted once and will come back with lovely flowers year after year.
Sounds good right? Then let’s begin!
List of Shade Flowering Plants and Perennials that Grow Easily
1. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
English ivy also commonly known as European ivy is an Evergreen, moisture and shade-loving plant native to most of Europe and western Asia.
It is an easy growing shade plant that grows in various conditions including hanging baskets and pots. This evergreen perennial woody vine flowers from June through October.
Although English ivy is known to be invasive, you can easily keep them pruned to almost any size that you want when grown as houseplants.
2. False goats’ beard (Astilbe biternata)
Astilbe biternata also commonly known as Appalachian False Goatsbeard is a shade-loving flowering perennial plant native to mountain ravines and woodlands in Asia and North America.
These tall shade Perennials are one of the most strikingly bold perennial wildflowers as they can grow up to a height of almost 6 feet.
Additionally, these shade flowering perennial plants grow easily and bloom from late spring through late summer. Astilbe flowers over a fairly long season since each flower plume consists of hundreds of densely packed tiny flowers that open in succession.
However, they do not all flower at the same hence some gardeners refer to them as ‘repeat bloomers’.
False goats’ beard works well as a background plant in shade gardens or, perennial planting beds and makes for excellent cut flowers. Grow your astilbe in average to moist well-drained soil amended with compost under partial to dappled shade.
3. Hardy Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica)
Fuchsia magellanica also commonly known as the hummingbird fuchsia is an easy-growing shade flowering perennial plant native to the lower Southern Cone of South America.
These shade-tolerant plants grow easily in pots and hanging baskets under full to part shade. They require moderate supplemental water during summer. Always keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy.
Hardy fuchsia falls in the category of shade Perennials that bloom all summer as they start to flower in May and flowering can extend into October.
Fuchsia magellanica lends a tropical look to gardens with its profusion of red and pink colored flowers. Their attractive downward-facing, lantern-like flowers pull hummingbirds into your garden like a magnet.
Begonias are beautiful shade flowers for growing in pots and hanging baskets native to moist subtropical and tropical climates.
Most begonias grow best in partial shade (4 to 6 hours of direct morning sun a day), or filtered sun (such as through trees) and also tolerate full shade. They prefer moist, well-drained soils containing plenty of organic matter.
Your begonia needs watering when the soil/ potting mix is completely dry. Irrigate your begonia via drip tape using a soaker hose, or watering early in the mornings helps to prevent fungal infections.
Examples of shade-loving begonia include; Rex begonia, Wax begonia, Angel wing begonia as well as Tuberose begonia.
5. Stinking iris (Iris foetidissima)
Also known as roast beef plant or coral iris, Iris foetidissima is the most shade tolerant of the iris species. It is an evergreen perennial full shade flowering plant with pale lilac flowers.
Although stinking iris grows in USDA zones 6 through 9, the leaves are evergreen in warmer climates only. They usually die to the ground in areas with freezing winters.
6. Wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides subsp. Robbiae)
Wood spurge, also commonly known as Robb's Euphorbia or Spurge is an herbaceous, perennial, fast-growing evergreen shrub with brilliant yellow/green blooms in the Spring.
Euphorbia grows best in dry to medium, loose, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade (some gardeners refer to it as a dry shade plant).
7. Coral Bells (Heuchera)
Coral bell is an evergreen perennial plant native to North America.
This tall shade loving plant flowers from June and continues throughout the growing season and is one the most common easy growing colorful plants that grow in shade (partial\ dappled shade).
Heuchera prefers moist, well-drained soils that have been amended with organic matter like leaf compost or pine barks.
8. Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana)
Spiderwort also commonly known as spider lily or Virginia spiderwort, is an herbaceous perennial plant native to the Eastern United States.
Tradescantia virginiana grows easily in moist to wet fertile sites and adapts to average garden soils in sun to shade.
So if you are looking for easy growing perennial flowering plants for partial shade for your garden, spiderwort should be at the top of your list.
Use this shade plant in a woodland area, along a stream or pond, in a rain garden, or on the border of a native garden.
9. Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea)
Yellow corydalis is an herbaceous perennial flower with lacey pale blue-green foliage and tiny, tubular yellow flowers.
C. lutea grows well in sun or light shade. This easy growing shade flowering perennial plant prefers well-drained soil and does best with good moisture during hot weather.
However, yellow corydalis does not tolerate wet soils during winter. It also likes ordinary to rich, humus-rich soil and can tolerate drier, gravelly/sandy- loam to clay soil.
10. Hardy Geraniums (Geranium sanguineum)
Hardy geraniums are easy growing ornamental perennial flowers that bloom all summer in shade. They are also great indoor flowering plants.
These shade flowering plants are also ideal for containers. For best performing potted geraniums, use a sterilized potting medium, and top-dress with a slow-release fertilizer following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Plant your geraniums in moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil high in organic matter such as peat moss or compost. Water your geraniums thoroughly when the soil is dry to the touch such that water comes through the drainage holes.
11. Sow bread (Cyclamen coum)
Sow bread is a spring-flowering bulbaceous hardy perennial plant with glossy, heart-shaped leaves and showy flowers.
Cyclamen coum is hardy to Zone 5 - even through the toughest of winter, whether gloomy, wet, or bitter cold, these shade plants remain as tough as they can be.
Even if winter temperatures drop down to -15F, you can still enjoy these cheery flowers once the snow melts and the weather warms up.
Grow your sow bread plants in rich well-drained soil under partial shade for best performance.
12. Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)
Hardy plumbago, also known as perennial leadwort is a long-blooming, semi-woody perennial plant and grows best in moderately moist, but well-drained soil.
This shade flowering plant over-winters in USDA cold hardiness zones 6 through 9.
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides make an attractive groundcover around rocks and are a good replacement for evergreen English ivy or vinca.
13. Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)
Galanthus nivalis is a bulbous perennial native to Europe and southwestern Asia. Snowdrops bloom from late February to late March, even if it is snowy.
It grows easily in well-drained organic soils in full sun to partial shade with enough moisture.
Common snowdrops grow particularly well under deciduous trees with full sun in early spring, but more shade as the leaves fill in. Also, they prefer cooler climates but, may be short-lived when grown south of Zone 7.
These perennial; shade flowering plants are mainly used in rock gardens, lawns, flower beds, and borders.
14. Bellflower (Campanula carpatica)
Campanulas are herbaceous perennials with bell-shaped, usually nodding, blue or purple flowers. They have an upright growth habit and grows up about 6 to 12 inches tall and wide.
This shade-tolerant perennial flowering plant does not tolerate too wet or too dry soils. Therefore, plant your bellflower in full sun to dappled shade in fertile, well-drained soil.
Moreover, bellflowers do best with cool roots, so mulch and provide them with adequate moisture during the dry weather.
Divide your campanulas every 2-4 years in spring or late summer to maintain vigor.
15. Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
Also known as Japanese bleeding heart, Lamprocapnos spectabilis is an erect shade flowering perennial herb that blooms in late spring to early summer.
The bleeding heart requires well-drained, but moderately moist soil with a neutral-to-slightly alkaline pH.
It grows easily in light shade, but in northern regions, it'll grow in full sun as long as supplied with sufficient moisture during the growing season. These plants are winter hardy from zones 2 through 9.
16. Lords and ladies (Arum maculatum)
The Lords and Ladies plant also commonly known as Arum, Bobbins, Adam& Eve, is a stemless herbaceous perennial with tuberous roots and large, heart-shaped leaves.
It prefers light shade and moist but well-drained soil. This beautiful houseplant is hardy to USDA zone 7b and grows well in the British Isles. Mature lords and ladies plants reach a height of about 12 to 18 inches.
Arum maculatum is a summer-flowering shade plant and blooms from June through July.
17. Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis)
Hellebores commonly known as Christmas or lenten roses are easy growing shade flowering perennial plants that grow low to the ground.
These evergreen perennials bloom profusely in full shade, therefore, adds eye-catching color to your garden in winter and early spring.
Lenten roses are frost resistant and are ideal for woodland gardens.
There you have it!
You now have at your fingertips the 17 shade flowering plants and perennials that grow easily for your garden. Having these plants makes your garden colorful throughout the year.
You just need to know the type of shade you are dealing with and then go for the right type of plant.
I hope that the article has been of help to you.
In case you have any questions, clarifications, or additions, please feel free to do so in the comment box below.
University of Washington Botanic Gardens
University of Maryland Extension
Home & Garden Information Center
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research & Extension
North Carolina Extension Gardener Toolbox